October 25, 2017

True Messiah October 2017 update

Greetings, friends–today, you’ll be getting two monthly updates in one! What a deal!

As you may recall, I went to PAX West in September to demo True Messiah with Tabletop Co-op. It was a fun experience; I wasn’t on the show floor this time around, and I had a whole lot of table space, so I decided to make the most of these new circumstances and play proper, whole games of True Messiah with passers-by instead of just doing quick lightning demos. (There were a few folks that enjoyed the game so much, they came back over and over again for rematches!)

Here are some pictures commemorating a small handful of the games we played:

One of the benefits of playing full games at PAX was that I got to test the Prosperity Monolith tiles a lot, and I’ve continued to test them out over the month since. I’ve reached a few conclusions about them. First, treating them like holy spaces for coin generation purposes makes them powerful enough to be a legitimate strategic consideration, but not so powerful as to be overwhelming. I’m sticking with this approach.

Second, these tiles are absolutely great in 3-player! In the 3-player context, these tiles add a new tactical dimension to the board and really encourage play in areas that otherwise hold little tactical value. Unfortunately, they’ve proven fundamentally unbalancing in a 2-player match, offering an unfair advantage to whoever goes earlier in the turn order. As such, I won’t be making use of them in 2-player matches. I haven’t drawn any firm conclusions about their use in 4-player yet, however–further testing awaits!

There’s one more mechanic I wish to test as well. Based on feedback from players, I’ve come to the conclusion that the messiahs need a “hook”–a unique power that encourages people to use strategies that work well with their messiah’s position in the turn order.

Why? Simple: left to their own devices, players take quite a few games to realize that going earlier in the turn order encourages strategies leveraging board control, while going later in the turn order encourages strategies leveraging the market. I’m actively testing out a suite of unique player powers that give a slight boost to players who make use of their messiah’s strengths. This, I think, should be the last significant rules change to True Messiah before we hit the Kickstarter.

Well, that about covers it! From here on in, it’s just testing, tweaking, and making assets for the Kickstarter page. I’ll post again when I’ve got enough news to justify it.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Halloween from Sinister Design!

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